Ever since beginning his first full season with the Clinton LumberKings, Mitch Moreland has done nothing but hit.
The slugger was named Midwest League Player of the Year last season after batting .324 with 37 doubles, 18 home runs, and 99 RBIs. Additionally, he showed solid plate discipline by drawing 60 walks and striking out just 67 times.
Moreland has taken yet another step forward after advancing to High-A Bakersfield—and beyond.
A product of Mississippi State University, Moreland batted .358 [38-for-106] in May with 14 doubles and four home runs. He also walked 14 times, giving him an impressive OPS [on-base plus slugging percentage] of 1.047.
Moreland's first 85 at-bats of the month came with Bakersfield, and he was recently promoted to Double-A Frisco, where he is likely to spend most of his time to right field. However, once Justin Smoak leaves the RoughRiders' roster—presumably around the All-Star break—Moreland will likely become the club's everyday first baseman.
So far, the 23-year-old isn't having any problems hitting in Frisco. In five games with the club, he has gone 8-for-21 with four doubles. Moreland has been an underrated prospect in a stacked Rangers' system for the last couple of years, and a dominant season with the RoughRiders should put him front-and-center.
|May 2009||Bakersfield (A+)/Frisco (AA)||.358||106||14||4||17||24||1||14||11||.444||.604|
Honorable Mention: Brandon Boggs (Oklahoma City), Craig Gentry (Frisco), Erik Morrison (Hickory)
Pitcher of the Month: Yoon-Hee Nam, LHP, Hickory
A handful of Hickory's pitchers are having unbelievable seasons statistically.
Yoon-Hee Nam's first two months may be the best.
The 21-year-old South Korea native boasts a 4-1 record with a 0.79 ERA in 34.1 innings on the season. He has allowed 13 hits in those frames, giving him an opponent batting average of .114.
Somehow—someway—those stats are even better in May alone.
Nam bounced between the starting rotation and bullpen in May, pitching anywhere between two and six innings in his six appearances. He went 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA in the month. Pitching 25.0 innings, he surrendered eight hits [.098 BAA] while walking five and striking out 26.
With a largely mid-80s fastball that touches the upper-80s and bumps 90 mph on occasion, the left-hander isn't particularly overpowering. He also uses a big 12-to-6 curveball and an advanced changeup.
|May 2009||Hickory (A)||2-0||25.0||8||5||26||0.72|
Honorable Mention: Doug Mathis (Oklahoma City), Kasey Kiker (Frisco), Blake Beavan (Bakersfield)